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Mayor Rob Ford Admits to Reading While Driving, “Probably”

A picture, posted to Twitter, appears to show the mayor reading a document behind the wheel of his Escalade.

Detail of a photo by Twitter user @ryanghaughton.

Mayor Rob Ford admitted to “probably” reading while driving down the Gardiner Expressway in his new Cadillac Escalade, after a picture of him doing so began circulating on Twitter.

The above picture was posted earlier today on Twitter by user @ryanghaughton, who has apparently since deleted it from his feed. It shows a man who appears to be Mayor Ford behind the wheel of a black Cadillac Escalade identical to the one Ford received recently as a birthday gift from his brothers. The man is reading a printed document of some kind while riding on a highway. A later tweet from Haughton, also now deleted, said that the picture was taken around 10 a.m. today on the Gardiner Expressway while traffic was moving at around 70 kilometres per hour.

The image circulated among city news desks so quickly that by a press conference this morning, where Ford was scheduled to speak about his upcoming “business mission” to Chicago, reporters were primed to confront him about the incident.

The CBC has a transcript of the exchange between Ford and a reporter. It goes like this:

Reporter: “Sir, there’s a picture that went out on Twitter this morning of you reading while still driving on the Gardiner [Expressway].”

Ford: “Yeah, probably. I’m busy.”

Reporter: “So you read while driving?”

Ford: “Yeah, probably, yeah. I’m try[ing] to catch up on my work and you know I keep my eyes on the road, but I’m a busy man.”

Reporter: “You don’t see a problem doing that on the Gardiner?”

Ford: “Well, I’m busy. I got to be — I don’t know what that has to do with a trade mission, but anyways. Ridiculous questions sometimes, seriously.”

This isn’t the first time Ford has been accused of doing something dangerous in his car. There was the time he allegedly gave a woman the middle finger after she and her daughter gave him thumbs down for talking on his cell phone while driving. Also, there was the time he got into a confrontation with a TTC driver after allegedly driving past a streetcar’s open doors.

UPDATE: August 14, 2012, 2:05 PM No, reading while driving is not illegal. But it can be unsafe.

CORRECTION: August 14, 2012, 2:51 PM This post originally misspelled @ryanghaughton’s username.

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